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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 December 2004, 16:24 GMT
Burkina's large lady beauty show
Miss Pog Bedre 2004 (c) and her two princesses
Amelie Sorgho (c) wants to campaign against skin-lightening creams
A competition held to pay tribute to "generously proportioned" women is going from strength to strength in Burkina Faso.

A student weighing 113kg is the latest winner of Miss Pog Bedre (Large Lady). "I am not at all worried about my size," Amelie Sorgho told the BBC.

"I may sometimes envy thin girls when they wear certain clothes but it's not worth going on an infernal diet."

The show was first held last year, to coincide with the Miss World contest.

The show's promoter Josephine Guiguemde says the idea is to "pay tribute to and recognise well-endowed women."

Miss Sorgho, an arts student at the University of Ouagadougou, gave a huge smile as it was announced that she had beaten 12 candidates to be crowned Miss Pog.

No swimwear

Contrary to the western obsession with tall and thin beauty icons, many men in Africa find fat women attractive.

"Thin women are for whites," said Issa, a 47-year-old electrician.

"In Africa, if a woman is large, it means her husband is looking after her."

Alain, a student, says he is prefers thinner women.

"If I had a large girlfriend, she might break my motor scooter."

The BBC's Mathieu Bonkoungou in Ouagadougou says just like in Miss World, the Miss Pog contestants speak about their belief in worthy causes, such as educating girls, helping those who have suffered domestic violence and fighting Aids, prostitution and divorce.

The jury voted for Miss Sorgho after the contestants had paraded in a variety of costumes, including African dresses.

The only difference to Miss World is there is no swimwear section. They do wear costumes which show off their curves but little flesh is revealed.

Miss Sorgho said she wanted to use her time as Miss Pog to lead a campaign to educate people - men and women - on the dangers of using skin-lightening creams.


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